There’s an animal army helping to save planet
IT IS animals to the rescue when it comes to protecting our home – the planet. Animal species are at the frontline, sharing their ample skills to help resolve environmental issues.
In her book Animal EcoWarriors, Tasmanian author and invasive species specialist Nic Gill tells of dogs, bees, a New Zealand parrot, goats, rats and seals all doing their bit to help the planet we share.
Sugar gliders are helping defend trees from swarms of destructive beetles and goats are at work munching on invasive weeds.
Bees fitted with tiny microchips are helping scientists to work out why bee numbers are falling and what this means for the rest of us. Ant-sniffer dogs, penguin protector dogs, hero bomb-sniffing rats and Clay the “cat-dog” of Tasman Island are all doing their bit.
Clay’s job description appears to be the perfect fit for a motivated terrier – to ensure the island is cat-free. Originally brought in as pets of the lighthouse keepers long ago and later becoming feral, the project to remove cats from the island began in 2008.
So keen is Clay and her canine clan on the whole idea, that during a TV appearance, the terriers spent the entire interview intensely focused on the fuzzy boom mike, which fortunately was just out of biting range.
Trained not to bother birds on Tasman Island, Clay is nevertheless muzzled, just in case the urge to chew things overwhelms her.
For the animal lover or budding scientist at your house, it’s hard to go past Animal Eco Warriors, Humans and Animals Working Together to Protect our Planet.
Written for primary to early secondary readers, it’s a fascinating and original read for adults too.
READ ALL ABOUT IT: Animal EcoWarriors, by Tasmanian author Nic Gill, outlines the role animals are playing in conservation.